Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
The leaders of the Jewish Federations of North America are calling for free Jewish preschool for every Jewish family in America.
Jewish Federations CEO Jerry Silverman and board chairman Michael Siegal said free Jewish preschool would “dramatically widen the pipeline of families entering Jewish life through this critical early gateway.”
The idea was one of four proffered by Silverman and Siegal to “intensify — and make affordable — the most effective vehicles for engaging people in Jewish life,” they wrote.
The two also called for tripling the percentage of Jewish kids attending Jewish summer camps, to 30 percent; more follow-up with alumni of Birthright Israel trips; and intensive investment in Jewish programming in parts of the country where Jewish density is high but Jewish engagement is low.
Asked in an interview with JTA if he has a road map to deliver free Jewish preschool to every Jewish family in America, Silverman said, “It’s an idea. These are four concepts and ideas. Our goal is to unpack these, take a look at these, take a look at the models that are already out there and see what this idea could really turn into. And once we unpack it we will be able to really see what is reasonable and what is executable. But we think it’s in the right direction.”
The Jewish Federations has changed its plans for the upcoming General Assembly in Jerusalem to make room for discussion of ideas to address the negative trends in American Jewish life evident in the Pew Research Center’s recent survey of U.S. Jews. The survey showed American Jews assimilating at faster rates than ever.
Silverman and Siegal offered little in the way of specifics.
On Birthright follow-up, the two authors issued a call for Birthright’s “gatekeepers to share this vast database of alumni contacts with us so that we have a mechanism to engage them in Jewish life.”
Silverman told JTA, “If we’re supporting this as a community and as philanthropists, then let’s make sure that we’re staying in some way and in some form and in the right way connected with these young people so they know there’s varying entry points into the community and into Jewish life.”
On the subject of Jewish camp, Silverman did not identify a particular strategy for increasing enrollment but told JTA that the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which he led for five years before he assumed the helm of the Jewish Federations, is working on a number of strategies for increasing market demand for Jewish camps.
On the subject of dense Jewish communities with low Jewish engagement — Silverman cited Denver, San Diego and Phoenix — the Op-Ed called for “Jewish Development Zones” that would develop the free Jewish preschool model, build an excellent Jewish summer camp, support existing Jewish youth programming, and develop programs for Birthright alumni and young Jewish singles.
“These ideas that Michael and I have written about are not set in stone,” Silverman told JTA. “These are ideas to question, to debate, to challenge. But we think they’re pretty solid because let’s start with low-hanging fruit instead of creating from afresh.
“We are very open and hungry to listen to dialogue that occurs. There may be another idea that comes out that’s better, so be it. We felt we needed to put our seeds in the ground to say OK, here’s what we see, here’s what we think. Let’s start the dialogue and put something on the table.”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Swiss Ambassador Portrays U.S. and Iran as doves of peace defecating on Netanyahu.
He will arrive Sunday and will be “updated on strategic issues,” meaning Iran.
The boundary, enabling Jewish students to carry on Shabbat, will be made of plastic “lechies” on utility poles.
A growing number of Arabs in Gaza are calling on people to burn down Hamas institutions.
An Oxford University professor’s new book uncovers what most Israelis know – that the Americans are not “Wild West” cowboys.
A report by the entity responsible for ensuring the peaceful development of nuclear energy worldwide and the one upon which the world depends for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity revealed that over the past few months Iran has been working on and adding to a building at its Parchin site. Parchin is an Iranian military complex located southeast of Tehran. It […]
Israeli artists build an ice wall at the Davidson Center, near the Kotel in Jerusalem. The wall was based on a piece by American artist Allan Kaprow who built something similar in Israel, in 1980, perpendicular to the Temple Mount. Photos by Yonatan Sindel / Flash90.
About 30 protesters from the Jewish Defense League on Wednesday evening stood at a picket line holding Israeli and Canadian flags outside billionaire Bernard (Barry) Sherman’s north Toronto home during his cocktail fundraiser for the Liberal party.
Mughassil, 48, is believed to be the leader of the Iran-supported Hezbollah Al-Hejaz group.
The Donald and the Cruz together against Iran on Sept. 9 at D.C. rally.
Iranian born Tennor Ramtin Ghazavi, a frequent performer at Italy’s La Scala, on Tuesday told San Jose Mercury News that the Islamic revolution that removed the Shah in 1979 “takes a dim view” of most musical forms, including opera.
For a state that goes out of its way to discriminate in favor of one group, Israel receives high grades in treatment of immigrants of all colors and creeds, beating out the UK, the US and Saudi Arabia.
If the administrative orders weren’t undemocratic enough, police raided a conference discussing those orders, arresting a number of the participants.
DM Ya’alon advises “zero tolerance” in dealing with violence against hareidi-religious IDF soldiers.
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-federations-chiefs-call-for-free-jewish-preschool/2013/10/25/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: